A Starbucks-Like Card for Every Retailer? Mercury Payments Says ‘Yes’

by Ben Jackson 0

The American Banker asserts in an article that Green Dot is potentially alienating its GoBank mobile banking customers by holding remotely deposited checks for up to 10 days.

Green Dot (GDOT) is taking a cautious approach to accepting remotely deposited personal checks—so cautious that it runs the risk of alienating customers and putting at risk tens of millions of dollars in investments at GoBank, its recently launched branchless operation.

The company defends its hold times by noting that many checks get “near-instant” credit and that risk management dictates that Green Dot hold personal checks longer. That doesn’t stop one analyst from declaring the hold time to be “Perhaps the worst funds availability I’ve seen.”

Read the American Banker article.

Funds availability is a multi-faceted question in that accountholders need access to their funds, but the institution needs to be protected from fraud in order to continue serving accountholders. The best funds availability is one that serves both of these purposes with sufficient utility.

So, funds availability is not instant with other players. Consider American Express’s policy for Bluebird.

Funds related to any Check Image you transmit to us via Adding Checks with the Mobile App will generally be available to you as Available Funds in your Bluebird Account six (6) business days after we commence processing such Check Image….

So, six business days means at least eight days because there will be at least one weekend included in six business days.

Read the Bluebird terms and conditions.

While this is an issue for people who have immediate liquidity needs, it is worth noting that not all checks will be treated equally. Balancing risk and customer convenience as new technology becomes available will remain as much as an art as science, and it will continue to evolve as institutions gain more experience with each channel.

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